A Gathering of EMOTIONS—I mean, Shadows…

A Gathering of EMOTIONS—I mean, Shadows…
A Gathering of Shadows
Shades of Magic #2

Written by: Victoria Schwab
Published by: Tor
Release date: February 23rd 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 512
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Format: ARC
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository, Audible
Add on: Goodreads


** Spoilers for book 1 in this synopsis!! **

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

My Thoughts

As I start writing this review, I’ve literally just finished this book, and I just… can’t. I can’t. I sort of just want to leave you with a screenshot of my Goodreads updates and leave it at that, but I won’t do that to you. I actually do need to get some words out. Because this book is amazing and I really need to tell you why. So here goes.

Where do I even begin…?

A Gathering of Shadows is the kind of book I adore — one whose driving force is the characters. I can’t say too much about the plot, because a huge chunk of plotty stuff is packed into the end — along with a SUPER COOL MAGICAL TOURNAMENT heck yes — with a lot of ominous lead-up to that plotty stuff along the way. Shadows isn’t slow, though, and a plot-heavy conclusion doesn’t mean that stuff doesn’t happen in the rest of the book. Oh man. Stuff happens. And so much of that stuff is my favorite thing — character-focused.

These bromances are my favorite.

So, here’s a bit of background: Kell is restless after the events of A Darker Shade of Magic, and he desperately needs an outlet to let off some magical steam. Kell’s discontent is rubbing off on Rhy thanks to their bond; and Rhy is also suffering a devastating amount of guilt over all the deaths that happened in his kingdom, which he sees as his fault. (Cue me clutching Rhy to my heart and protecting him for all time, my little cinnamon roll 😭)

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Waiting on Wednesday – Resonance

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – Resonance
Resonance
Dissonance #2

Written by: Erica O'Rourke
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Release date: July 21st 2015
Genres: Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: Dissonance

As a Walker between worlds, Del is responsible for the love of her life—and the fate of millions—in this thrilling sequel to Dissonance.

***SOME SPOILERS FOR DISSONANCE BELOW***

Del risked everything to save Simon, and now he’s gone, off in another world with no way for Del to find him.

She’s back at the Consort—training to be a Walker like everyone in her family. But the Free Walkers have other plans for her. This rebel group is trying to convince Del that the Consort is evil, and that her parents are unwittingly helping the Consort kill millions of people. The Free Walkers make Del the ultimate promise: if Del joins their fight, she will be reunited with Simon.

In agreeing, Del might be endangering her family. But if she doesn’t, innocent people will die, and Simon will be lost to her forever. The fate of the multiverse depends on her choice...

WhyImWaiting_v2

Okay, so, this is a two-fold WoW pick today! Firstly: Resonance comes out in July and I cannot wait to read it. I loved Dissonance — it had one of my favorite parallel-world systems of all time, and characters that I absolutely loved. And I’m so excited to jump into its sequel!

But also… guess what comes out in one month? Harmonic, a Dissonance novella! It’s written from Dell’s sister Addison’s perspective (family-dynamics is one thing this series has done so, so right, btw), and I really liked Addison, so I’m looking forward to seeing more from her.

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)

ARC Review: A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab

ARC Review: A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic
Shades of Magic #1

Written by: Victoria Schwab
Published by: Tor
Release date: February 24th 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 400
Source: Gifted from a friend
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads


Kell is one of the last travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king—George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered—and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London—a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cutpurse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.

MyThoughts_v2

There’s this feeling I sometimes get after finishing a book — it’s extremely rare, and only happens when the book was a whole other level of intense and amazing. It’s this euphoric, wrung-out, disoriented stupor, and it leaves you speechless and reeling.

Well, I got that feeling after finishing A Darker Shade of Magic. And that’s the highest praise I can give.

Victoria Schwab originally teased A Darker Shade of Magic as “pirates, thieves, and sadist kings.” If you’re any sort of fan of her work, and she throws those words at you, you’re a goner. But then you read the synopsis (Schwab-fan or not), and you sort of side-eye it. How is this possible? This book seems to have way too much going for it, way too many good things in it — How? Why? What’s going on? Is this for real?!

Well, before you get too excited, let me just make it clear how many good things there are in this book, because the synopsis actually doesn’t cover it.

  • (Aspiring) pirate ✓
  • Thieves ✓
  • Sadist kings ✓✓
  • Amazing magic system(s) ✓✓✓
  • Flawless worldbuilding ✓✓✓✓
  • London(s) ✓✓✓✓
  • Fabulous magical coats ✓
  • Incredible characters ✓✓✓✓
  • Amazing friendships/brOTP’s/nemeses ✓✓✓✓✓
  • Ship potential (no insta-anything) ✓!!!
  • Banter ✓!!!!!!!
  • FEELS ✓✓✓✓✓✓!!!!!!!

Yep, your eyes do not deceive you. A Darker Shade of Magic ticks ALL THE BOXES — and revels in it.

A Darker Shade of Magic does with the fantasy genre what Vicious did with superheroes. It takes things we’ve seen before — magic, evil tyrants, world(s)-in-danger, etc — and turns them upside-down. Raises the stakes. Makes them new. This is fantasy at its finest — and Victoria Schwab at her best — and it is not to be missed.

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ARC Review: A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray

I received this book for free from HarperTeen. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray
A Thousand Pieces of You
Firebird #1

Written by: Claudia Gray
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: November 4th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

MyThoughts_v2

This is a book that has made it abundantly clear to me that, if I’m in the mood for something, and a book gives me that something, then I will forgive quite a few issues while I’m reading. I wanted a book dealing with awesome parallel universes, a ship I could sail (you know what I mean), and a plot that kept me engaged. I got all of those things from A Thousand Pieces of You — plus characters who were interesting, well-realized, and (though some of their decisions were a bit questionable) ones I found myself rooting for.

However, now that I’ve come down off of that “ooooh this book is so shiny” high, I find myself thinking back on many aspects that weren’t so great. Overall, I’m still left feeling pretty positive about it, but where my original, “I-just-finished-this-book” rating was 4 stars, I think maybe my final feelings are more around 3.5.

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Waiting on Wednesday – A Thousand Pieces of You

WoW_v131019
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – A Thousand Pieces of You
A Thousand Pieces of You
Firebird #1

Written by: Claudia Gray
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: November 4th 2014
Genres: Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: A Thousand Pieces of You

Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

WhyImWaiting_v2

If you’re not already waiting on this book, I would very much like to know what rock you’ve been hiding under (no seriously, I need to stop finding good books to look forward to because my TBR pile is INSANE). I’m pretty sure most people have heard of this book by now, thanks to its amazing synopsis and HELLO GORGEOUS cover, but who knows? If you haven’t heard of it – YOU’RE WELCOME. This book promises to be amazing. Parallel universes? Space- and time-bending? Romance? Murder? Adventure?

I’ll take two, please.

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)

 

PS: If you’re a fan of The Darkest Minds trilogy, or even if you haven’t read it yet, I’ve got a prize pack giveaway going on right now! :D

ARC Review: DISSONANCE by Erica O’Rourke

I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: DISSONANCE by Erica O’Rourke
Dissonance
Dissonance #1

Written by: Erica O'Rourke
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Release date: July 22nd 2014
Genres: Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed − all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.

Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.

But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide − a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.

MyThoughts_v2

I’ve been looking forward to this book for more than a year. According to Goodreads, I added it to my TBR on April 9, 2013 – I still remember reading the blurb for the first time and going YES THIS. I NEED THIS. WHY SO FAR AWAY?! Obviously, with books that inspire this sort of excitement, there’s the very real possibility that your excitement will get the better of you, and the book will end up disappointing you. =/ And to be honest, Dissonance… well…

Dissonance TOTALLY LIVED UP TO MY EXPECTATIONS!! Hahahaha, you thought I was going to say it disappointed me, didn’t you?! Okay well, if you follow me on Twitter you know I was flailing about this book as I read it, so maybe you guys knew. And if you follow me on Goodreads you might know… and if you saw my rating, above, you probably know… Okay, maybe I wasn’t as subtle just now as I thought. :P

But seriously, Dissonance was amazing. For three main reasons:
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